6G Civic - ITR 22mm Rear Swaybar and ASR Subframe Brace Install
Hi guys, this is a write-up I did for my website...thought it could be of some use.
6th Gen (6G) Honda Civic - ITR 22mm Rear Swaybar and ASR Subframe Brace Install
One of the best suspension modifications you can do to improve the way your Civic handles would have to be upgrading or adding a rear sway bar. Unfortunately, the sub frame on Civics tends to rip, or tear out, if you go much bigger than the 13mm bar that comes on the Si model Civic. There are a couple products available that address this issue, and this article is going to focus on installing one such product from A-Spec Racing. ASR has designed a very beefy sub frame brace that prevents the tear out normally associated with using large sway bars. I am going to show you how to install this brace in a 6th gen Civic to support a 22mm sway bar from an Integra Type-R. In this install, I am also adding aftermarket Lower Control Arms...mostly for the ‘bling’ factor, though they are a bit lighter than stock and will replace the worn out bushings in the OE arms.
Items to gather before you start:
- jack and jack stands
- blocks for front wheels
- lug wrench
- torque wrench
- 12mm, 14mm, & 17mm sockets
- 14mm open ended wrench
First off, here is the ASR Brace, the ITR Sway Bar, and the Omni Power Lower Control Arms. I also made some End Links out of Aurora Aluminum Rod Ends, and purchased Grade 8 hardware to secure them. Due to a shipping error I ended up with one red and one silver end link; however, since I employ the logic of function over form…I shook that one off.
Before you start, go ahead and loosen the lug nuts on the rear wheels so they can be removed once you have the car in the air...this will make it much easier to work on the suspension, especially if you are replacing the LCAs. Now you can block the front wheels, jack up the rear of the car, and support it on jack stands...please make sure to use jackstands.
Once you have the car up and supported, go ahead and remove the rear wheels. This step is optional, but removes a big load, frees up some room, and generally makes the work much easier.
Alright, if you are changing the LCAs out, then you will need to remove both of these bolts...they are both 14mm in OE trim.
Next you will need to remove these two bolts to get the LCAs off...these are again 14mm...You need to remove them whether or not you are changing LCAs.
You should now be looking at the bare subframe.
This not so thick sheet metal is the reason big sway bars rip the subframe to pieces.
Here we can compare the shiny new Omni Power LCAs to their OE counterparts. Notice they are the same length and the holes line up...that means these will not correct camber, though some aftermarket LCAs do correct camber. The Omni LCAs are mainly for the 'Bling' factor, though they are a bit lighter and come with new bushings. Here we also see the ASR kit with the hardware laid out.
Go ahead and get the ASR Brace and the LCAs in place using the longer, beefier LCA bolts supplied by ASR. Only put these in finger tight for now.
Next, if you removed the LCAs you need to get them attached back to your damper and the trailing arm. You might notice that the trailing arm does not want to line up.
You can either push/pull the trailing arm into place, or use a hammer...I opted for a dead blow hammer. Once you get the holes lined up go ahead and put the OE bolt back in finger tight.
Now you will need to get the ASR backing plates in place...this helps spread the load out across a larger area. (This is not required on a Si model because there is a backing plate welded in from the factory.
Go ahead and get the lower backing plate bolt in place.
Then get the upper bolt in place to get the backing plate aligned correctly, and go ahead and tighten the lower backing plate bolt to 22 lbf-ft.
Here you can begin to see how this brace helps to spread the load.
Now you are ready to add the sway bar.
You can use OE 99-00 Si end links, but I opted for heim joint type end links and pieced our own together. ASR also has this type available as a kit for an additional $70.
The ASR kit comes with these aluminum spacers that basically act as metal bushings for your sway bar.
I am using grade 8 hardware, with a 'thick' washer on each side of the swaybar.
From right to left - bolt, end link, thick washer, ASR spacer, swaybar, ASR spacer, thick washer, split washer, & self locking nut. You will torque this all down to 22 lbf-ft.
I opted for Energy Suspension Graphite Impregnated Polyurethane bushings for the sway bar. These are 7/8" (22mm) universal fit and include zerk fittings so you can grease them. I had some ES Formula 7 grease left over from a Master Bushing install...and decided to lube these guys up.
To secure the sway bar you will need to remove the top and bottom bolts on the ASR brace, line up the sway bar brackets, and get the bolts back in place finger tight. You can see the ES grease on the bar around the bushing. I just greased the bar and slid the bushing back and forth a few times.
Slide the bar back and forth until your end links are in the correct position...then you will probably have to adjust the length to get them lined up with the holes in your control arms.
Go ahead and get your end links attached to the LCA...but do not tighten them up yet.
With rod end type end links, you will need to space them out from the control arm a bit...I used three thick washers for this.
It looks a bit crooked, but do not worry, once we lower the car and tighten them up they will straighten out.
Speaking of lowering the car...go ahead and re-install your wheels and get the car back on the ground.
Now we need to torque the bolts to spec.
LCA bolts = 40 lbf-ft
End Link bolts = 22 lbf-ft
Sway Bar Bushing bolts = 20 lbf-ft
All done. If you replaced the LCAs and banged on your trailing arms at all, then an alignment probably wouldn't hurt. You do need to make sure and torque your lug nuts back to 80 lbf-ft though.
That is all she wrote on this one...you can find the full article with links to larger images HERE.
Thanks guys. The difference this made in the way the car handles is just incredible. It took care of the body roll, so you stay planted in your seat on turns...plus the rear end comes around much easier now. The bar is pretty much transparent under normal driving circumstances, but when you need it you can definitely tell it is there. I think once I step my OE 22mm front bar up to about 24mm the balance will be just where I want it. I definitely recommended this to anyone looking for a substantial suspension mod.
Price came out to about $475.
$180.00 - ASR Subframe Brace
$80.00 - Used 22MM JDM ITR Sway (should have bought a Shiny new USDM one)
$75.00 - Teflon lined Aurora Aluminum Rod Ends for End Links
$20.00 - Grade 8 Hardware for End Links
$20.00 - Energy Suspension Graphite Sway Bar Bushings
$100.00 - Omni Power LCAs *Bling*
As for the bushings...it was actually a pretty snug fit. (They are about 22.2mm)
I am not quite sure what the first two questions are asking...but I will give it a go.
Originally Posted by rover 400 sdi
work this rear suspension improvements ???
The rear-end swings around much easier now, but not too much so. I got a little bit sideways a couple times after this install...but that was really in testing the limits. You really don't know what 95-100% traction is until you hit 101% a couple times.
The car just feels more balanced, and the anti-roll part is definitely pronounced in hard, sharp cornering. Daily drivability really was not affected either; you cannot tell the thing is there until you want it to be.
Originally Posted by rover 400 sdi
is cheaper do it ?
I really have no idea what this one means...I did give a breakdown of the prices in a previous post.
Originally Posted by rover 400 sdi
what do you have at front suspension ?
Front suspension consists of the stock EX swaybar, Skunk2 upper 2pt strut bar, Topspeed lower 4pt brace, Korbach Frame Locks, SPC camber/caster upper arms set to -1.5 camber, JIC Magic FLT-1 dampers, Brembo OE replacement rotors, PBR ceramic pads, and ES graphite impregnated bushings in the swaybar endlinks, upper control arms, lower control arms, and steering rack. I guess the sticky Falken Azenis RT615s would count too.
I am looking to put an ITR swaybar up front too to bring the balance back towards the front just a smidge and get a bit more bodyroll taken care of.
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